New Zealand Convention Centre goes up in smoke

New Zealand’s SkyCity Convention Centre was enveloped in flames on Tuesday, reportedly leaving one person in a serious condition.

Workers were forced to evacuate from the under-construction building in central Auckland and people were told to stay away from the CBD, according to Stuff.

Firefighters had to contend with gale-force winds to contain the blaze, which reportedly spread downwards from the roof on the sixth floor.

Workers said the fire was started by an unattended blow torch which ignited flammable material on the roof of the building, according to Stuff, that was being used to heat and seal waterproofing material.

Hundreds of people were evacuated, including the 400 workers who were on site.

“It (the evacuation) was very well organised. But everyone moved pretty quickly,” Electrician Lindsay Rowlands, who was working on the floor below told Stuff.

One worker told the The New Zealand Herald that people assumed the fire alarm was a drill.

“Then people said run, run and we knew we needed to get out,” he said.

St Johns said multiple units were on the scene but no one had been treated yet.

It is not clear how the person in a serious condition was injured.

Featured image source: RNZ